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Money wire transferred to wrong account, thousands in limbo

2 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Monday, November 09 2020 Nov 9, 2020 November 09, 2020 8:18 PM November 09, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

CENTRAL - A woman is feuding with her bank that she says wired her money to the wrong account and won't supply her supporting documents that explain what happened.

In September, Priscilla Smith went to Liberty Bank on Scenic Highway to initiate a wire transfer to her sister's Chase Bank account. Smith says the money is from a house sale and her sister's share is $5,500.

Smith says she filled out the transfer paperwork and left with a receipt for $5,520. The wire transfer fee is $20. Smith says she took a call later that day from the wire department confirming the numbers but learned soon after the transfer didn't go through because of an incorrect routing number. Smith says the Liberty Bank wire department called back to correct the mistake and it was then she noticed a discrepancy in the account number as well.

"I realized that the first number of my sister's account number was wrong," she said.

Smith says she made all the necessary corrections, but what happened next is still leaving her without answers. After a couple of days, Smith says her sister called and said she hadn't received the wire transfer. Smith went back to Liberty Bank and it was there she learned the $5,500 was wired to the wrong account.

Smith says the bank started the process of recalling the wire transfer.
"She assured me I'd get my money back," said Smith.

So far, that hasn't been the case. Instead, Smith has only received $1,700 back and would like to know where the remaining balance is.

"I was told at that point that the person evidently spent the $3,800 and that's all that was going to be released to me," she said.

Smith hired an attorney to draft a letter for her requesting the return of the rest of her money, but even that didn't produce results.

Last week, Liberty Bank told 2 On Your Side that Smith signed a document and verified the numbers over the phone, making the same error twice. Smith says that she made the correction after the first time the transfer didn't go through but the bank still used the wrong numbers.
"I want my money," said Smith.

Liberty Bank also confirmed to 2 On Your Side some of the money was spent by the person who received the money unbeknownst to Smith.
In a statement, Liberty Bank and Trust says it has "been a reliable and trusted financial institution in this community for many years. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to make statements regarding a customer's account or banking transaction."

2 On Your Side has also contacted Chase Bank. A bank representative says, "We have been able to recover some, but not all of Ms. Smith's funds. We are still working to see what other options we have to help."

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